Faery Godlover(36)

By: Lizzie Lynn Lee

She nodded. “To a public school near my parents’ house.” It had been a drastic life changing experience for them but her girls didn’t complain. They were just happy that they lived with their grandma and grandpa now.

The man studied her carefully. “With your quick thinking under duress, you would definitely be a good fit for my business,” he said.

Rose was stunned. Was he offering her a job? “And wh-what is your business?” she asked, suspicious.

He smiled and offered his hand for her to shake. As she took it, he answered, “Nice to meet you, Rose. I’m Joseph Sanford, but you can call me Joe. And I am a private investigator.”

“Oh,” she said simply, taken aback. Now everything kind of made sense. The way he dressed. How he was unconscious in the alleyway. Curiosity got the best of her. Work in a PI office? That would be interesting. Just like in the noir books she read when she was growing up. “And you have an opening…?

Joe laughed and nodded. “Yes. I require an office administrator. Someone who is good with computers, phones, organization, and… discretion.”

“I worked with internet security back in California,” Rose said quickly, her stomach turning in knots. This could not be happening! This insanely hot, mysterious man was not offering her a job while lying in a hospital. Cleveland was turning out to be full of surprises.

“That’s perfect. You’re hired.”

“Oh my God,” she gasped. “Are you serious? Wh-where do you work? What’s the dress code like? And, oh I hate to ask this, but what is the pay?”

“All relevant questions,” he replied. “I’ll text you the address if you give me your phone number. The pay is very competitive. And the dress code… for you, it’s whatever you want,” he added, giving her a quick once-over.

Rose opened her mouth to say something, but then her phone buzzed several times in a row, alerting her to a second barrage of text messages. She sighed.

Joe gave her a curious smile. “Someone waiting on you?” he asked pointedly.

“My parents,” Rose answered, a little embarrassed. “We’re staying with them for the time being until I can figure something else out.”

Joe’s expression didn’t change. He still looked incredibly interested.

“Understood. Well, I’m confident that this position will help all three of you build the life you want to live,” he said, with an authentic, stunning smile.

“Thank you,” Rose breathed, shocked at how her luck had changed.

“No. Thank you. Now, go back home so your parents don’t think you’ve fallen into serious trouble,” he urged her with a wink. “And don’t forget to leave me your phone number!”

Rose quickly snatched a piece of scrap paper from her purse and scribbled out her cell phone number, handing it to him giddily. “Thank you so much! You won’t regret it!”

“I’m sure I won’t,” he replied, beaming.

Rose gave him one final nod and then hurried out the door, fireworks exploding in the back of her mind. This was insane! What a ridiculous day! She hardly cared about her ruined heels and her crappy afternoon now—things were finally looking up!

As she rushed by the nurses’ station on her way to the elevator, she overheard a couple of them whispering among themselves about a strange irregularity in Joseph Sanford’s chart.

“It was weird,” muttered one of them, dressed in pink scrubs. “The puncture marks on his neck indicate he was shot with a tranquilizer.”

“Maybe it’s some awful new way to mug people without them fighting back,” suggested another.

An older, third nurse said gravely, “Yes, yes. But the amount of tranquilizer in his bloodstream… that’s the kind of stuff used to take down a wild animal. Like a bear.”

“How is he even alive?” asked Pink Scrubs, wide-eyed.

“A miracle?”

“Something like that,” said the older nurse darkly.

Rose walked away with a head full of question. Someone had jumped on her new boss and tranquilized him. For what purpose? He wasn’t robbed. His wallet was intact. And why had he told the doctor he didn’t remember anything? Was he lying?

Her logic told her to stay away from Joseph Sandford but her heart ordered the opposite.

She must help him.

Besides, Joe had just offered her a job. A job she desperately needed.

And there was another thing, when he held her hand, her heart wouldn’t stop thumping like crazy. It had been forever since a man made her heart beat like that.

And Rose couldn’t just let that feeling go.

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